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People have been looking for answers about the tragic shooting in Arizona. People want to know why and how could something so senseless happen. We may not get the answers to those important questions.

However, my faith and beliefs tells me that I can try to learn something from this tragedy. Mental Illness it is not really scary or hard to say so why is it so easy to ignore and hard for to address?

Mental illness is a medical condition that uncontrolled and untreated can interfere and cause damage to a person’s life, including their thinking, mood, ability to relate to others and understand reason. Mental illness is a disease that can destroy people and families if left untreated. Mental illness knows no race, religion, age or income. Furthermore, mental illness is not a result of poor character, bad upbringing, or personal weakness.

The good news is that mental illness can be treated and recovery is possible, but it does not just happen. One of the hardest parts of having a family member or a friend with mental illness is getting the person help. By the time the mental illness is recognized, the sick person’s actions often have frightened and alienated the friends and family.

If a person breaks a bone or his having chest pains his mind tells him to get to the hospital for treatment.

A person suffering with a mental illness many times does not recognize that he or she needs to get help. The failure to recognize the need for treatment can be one of the most challenging parts of the disease.

Mental illness can require someone to step in and assist the person who is sick to get the required medical treatment. It can also require tough love to make sure the person continues treatment.

Mental illness often requires friends, family and neighbors to get involved in patient care. It is not unusual for one to be afraid of a person with a mental illness. However, we have to find the courage to overcome those fears.

There are many in our community suffering with mental health issues in silence. There is help and you are not alone. If you or someone you love is having mental health issues please seek treatment. Look for local contact numbers for mental health assistance. See also;; for additional resources.


  1. That is a great post, Emily. Though people equate mental illness with violent acts (ala the most recent tragedy), there is no causitive link. The literature is clear on this issue - mentally ill people are no more likely to harm to someone else than the general population. The real forces of evil are drugs and alcohol. The statistics on violent acts committed by people altered by either are out of the roof. The mentally ill need our compassion, understanding and help, not our fear, ignorance and derision.

  2. Gravatar for Tanya Womack

    Fab post! If someone has a broken leg it can be seen, a broken mind can't, so its more tricky. I suffer with BPD and I have lost a lot of friends since being dianosed as they see me as some sort of freak, I dont let it bother me anymore. Im proud to be on my medication as I have overcome the odds and I am currently back at school... January 2010 wouldnt have seen this possible

    We are not aliens and we are not freaks, we are human beings struggling to cope with life...

    If we all cut our selves do we not ALL bleed red???

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